The city of Cincinnati is located near the southwestern tip of Ohio. Founded after the Revolutionary War, many historians termed it as the first purely American city in the US. It was a dominant financial and trading hub in the mid 19th century. Stunning architecture influenced by European styles earned it the nickname Paris of the West. Although the advent of railroads took away much of its sheen, the city remained a major cultural center, thanks to the huge number of German immigrants. Visiting Cincinnati means not only having a chance to enjoy its heritage sites but also several of its manmade attractions like architectural landmarks, public gardens, and museums.
- Krohn Conservatory
This is not only an attraction for nature lovers, but also a place to take a relaxed stroll to escape the stress of the daily grind. The Krohn Conservatory, located in Eden Park, is a beautifully landscaped group of gardens with over 3500 plants and trees from all over the world. The main conservatory is an Art Deco structure highlighted by a beautiful Gothic arch. The most prominent exhibits of the conservatory are the Desert Garden, Orchid Display, Bonsai Collection, Palm House, Tropical House, and Floral Display.
- Cincinnati Art Museum
Located in Eden Park, hardly a mile west of downtown, is the top art museum of the city, the Cincinnati Art Museum. It was founded in 1881, making it one of the oldest art museums in the US. It has a staggering collection of over 67,000 works of art spanning 6000 years, making it one of the most comprehensive collections of art in the Midwest. The museum is housed in an impressive Romanesque-Revival styled building which is an attraction in itself. The Cincinnati Art Museum hosts several permanent and temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Some of the masters featured in the museum include Botticelli, Paul Rubens, Renoir, Monet, and Picasso.
- American Sign Museum
This is a unique museum dedicated to the making and preservation of the art of making signs, especially neon signs. It is located on Monmouth Street, about a mile west of the Cincinnati Zoo. The museum is the brainchild of Tod Swormstedt, whose family published the trade journal Signs of the Times, dedicated to the signage industry. The museum covers 20,000 square feet displaying over 500 signs from a century of American history. Try to locate the McDonald’s arch from 1963, which features Speedee instead of the now-famous Ronald McDonald character.
- Isaac M Wise Temple
The Isaac M Wise Temple is a historic synagogue located right across the Cincinnati City Hall. The synagogue is on Plum Street and is also known as the Plum Street Temple. It is named after the founder of the American Reform Judaism. The Isaac M Wise Temple was built in 1865 and has a design that is strongly influenced by the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. This very impressive US National Historic Landmark is considered to be one of the oldest synagogue buildings in the US. Its twin spires and elaborate façade makes it stand out among the other buildings in the downtown neighborhood of the city.
- Music Hall
The Cincinnati Music Hall is one of the most prominent attractions of the city. It was built in 1878 to serve as a venue for classical musical performances as well as for industrial exhibitions in its side wings. This US National Historic Landmark is home to the Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and the May Festival Chorus. It is located on Elm Street along the western flank of the Washington Park. Music Hall has the 3516-seat Springer Auditorium, 1300-seat Music Hall Ballroom, 300-seat Corbett Tower, and the 50-seat Critic’s Club dining room. Built at the site of a former pauper’s cemetery, Music Hall has, over the years, earned the reputation as one of the most haunted places in the US.
- Taft Museum of Art
The Taft Museum of Art is a historical house and art museum. It is located in the Lytle Park Historic District in downtown Cincinnati. The Greek Revival mansion was built in 1920 by Martin Baum. His daughter Anna married Charles Taft, the half brother of William Taft, the 27th US President. In fact, it was the portico of this mansion where William Taft accepted his presidential nomination in 1908. Charles and Anna Taft were avid art collectors who donated the mansion and their collection to the people of Cincinnati. This US National Historic Landmark not only has one of the finest collections of artwork in Ohio, but also a prominent collection of furniture, enamels, watches, and Chinese porcelain.
- Carew Tower Observation Deck
Located right across the popular Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati is the 2nd tallest building in the city and one of its most popular attractions – Carew Tower. This 49-story Art Deco building was constructed in 1930 and is currently home to many offices, restaurants, and a shopping arcade. However, the highlight of this US National Historic Landmark is the observation seck on the 49th floor. You can get stunning panoramic views of the Cincinnati city, stretching for miles on a clear day. This is one attraction that you just cannot miss when visiting Cincinnati.
- Fountain Square
This small city square at the junction of E 5th Street and Vine Street has been considered the heart of downtown Cincinnati since 1871. The highlight of the square is the stunningly dominating 43-foot bronze Tyler Davidson Fountain from Germany. The square is dotted with many hotels, restaurants, cafes, and shops, making it a popular place with locals and tourists alike. Fountain Square also hosts many events throughout the year, including one of the largest celebrations of Oktoberfest outside Germany.
- Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden
Founded in 1875, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is the second-oldest zoo in the US, just a year younger than the Philadelphia Zoo. The Reptile House, next to the Swan Lake, however, is the oldest zoo building in the US. With over 1.2 million annual visitors, the zoo is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Cincinnati. It is located in the Avondale neighborhood, about 4 miles north of Cincinnati. The zoo, currently spread over 75 acres, is home to almost 1900 animals belonging to over 500 different species. Gorillas, white Bengal tigers, Nile hippos, and white lions are some of its most popular exhibits.
- Cincinnati Museum Center
The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is a former railroad station that is now home to several museums. It was built in an Art Deco style in the 1930s to combine 5 different stations of downtown Cincinnati. With the decline of the railroad services, the terminal lost its glory and was unsuccessfully transformed into a shopping mall in the 1980s. In 1990, a major restoration project not only made it the home to 6 organizations, it also helped resume Amtrak services from this terminal. The Museum Center presently has the Cincinnati History Museum, Museum of Natural History and Science, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Cincinnati Railroad Club, Cincinnati Historical Society Library, and the 5-story movie house Omnimax.
Originally posted 2017-09-11 10:44:23.